Musing on Golar LNG

Golar LNG (GLNG) announced their Q1 results this past week. Although Golar still own a pair of LNG tankers, neither is particularly productive to GLNG’s bottom-line. Their Q1 presentation offered a great categorization - Golar is a FAAS, the world’s first and only FAAS (FLNG-as-a-service).

The thing about being a FAAS is that each individual FLNG project takes time to develop and has its challenges. So, a new one seems to be getting sorted out with Gimi. When Gimi arrived in Mauritania waters after a delayed sail-away date, I thought Golar had backed themselves into an awkward spot. But, per GLNG’s Q1 report, the FPSO that is supposed to provide the gas feed has not hooked up yet. That means full test of Gimi’s capabilities has not started - Ugh! But, at least the issue is not with Golar. FLNG is hard.

FLNG is hard. And expensive. Golar have taken lots of steps towards an FLNG Mark II model. But, Golar really need a customer to step forward. At least, that’s what their Q1 report suggests. Golar have already spent over $270M on the to-be FLNG asset and even working yard related details. An FLNG asset build usually takes several years - a 2024 FID means 3 years of yard time (shortened some because Golar already purchased some long lead items)

Finally, Macaw technologies. Progress on that subsidiary. A F2X unit (Flare gas to LNG) has headed to a Texas site for field testing in June 2024. GLNG have suggested the plan is to spin off this unit. The finer details e.g. valuation, whether GLNG keep a stake, etc, are unknowns. Still, it is a small positive to learn a little more.

Golar continue talks with potential customer. In prior discussions, the company seemed focused on Africa. In the Q1 2024 Earnings Call, the company seemed to include South America. Is that Argentina? Brazil? or elsewhere?

In the interim, GLNG can toss off a small dividend via the success of FLNG Hilli. Again, FLNG is hard and expensive.


Not entirely a fair comparison, but let’s suspend judgement on productivity and set-up for a minute. Let me just focus on what NFE call “replacement” cost. If GLNG were to use NFE’s figure of $1400 per tonne (actually MTPA), their replacement cost valuation on their two FLNG assets would be, at least, $7B – more than 2.5-times GLNG current market cap.

I wait … patiently.

To my point on “FLNG is hard and expensive”, the FLNG-wannabe’s at NFE ran into another hurdle. NFE seems to be cagey on the event details, but supposedly there was some mechanical incident on one of the three rigs. The setback will delay COD (Commercial Operations Date) … yet again.

Some time ago, I had taken a short position in NFE. Timing was bad and the trade worked against me. At NFE’s current price, is this where I might get a chance to recover my losses? Have to go back and find the trade details to see my hurdle rate.